A shareholder’s right to participate in the Annual General Meeting and to vote on other corporate actions has always been well entrenched but the paper proxy process and the traditional land mail system have not always made exercising this right easy.
Although Ince’s on-line proxy voting system has been on the market for more than ten years and is compliant with all acts and requirements relating to proxy voting, use of the system remains largely voluntary for those organisations that see the need to gather electronic contact details of shareholders and utilise the other benefits of iProxy.
With the advent of the New Companies Act, Craig Pollock, General Manager of Ince Corporate Action explains why iProxy is beneficial. “The previous Act allowed for electronic shareholder communication on condition that the company amended their Articles of Association accordingly. In the new Act, a company need only list this intention in their Memorandum of Incorporation.”
But what Craig says next is more relevant,”What is more significant is the Act’s stipulation that all posted communication with shareholders needs to be registered. This drastically increases the postage cost on any communication and could be a deterrent to communication rather than an enabler. Apart form the obvious benefits of speed when using iProxy there is also a significant cost benefit as the postal charges are not incurred.”
The iProxy system processes proxies for certificated and own-name dematerialised shareholders only while dematerialised users can use the system as a voting instruction form to their broker. In addition STRATE’s role in the process remains unchanged.